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Brandon: Issue #1

DateJuly 12, 2009
LocationLytle, Texas
Time1:24 P.M.

Lytle's 15th annual Brandon Soto Day festival was almost underway. The parade was getting lined up. Brandon's biggest friends in high school, Adriel Sandoval and Sean Graves, as well as Akame, were sitting in the front row of the auditorium where Brandon would give his speech after the parade, which for the 15th year in a row was comprised entirely of sound bytes from movies.

Meanwhile, outside, Gerardo Otero was making a profit by exploiting Brandon's likeness, selling soda, popcorn, and butt-scratchers.

"BUTT-SCRATCHER!", Gerardo shouted. "GET YOUR BUTT-SCRATCHER HERE! BUTT-SCRATCHER!"

"You want anything?", Satsuki Kiryūin asked.

"Popcorn and a soda.", Satsuki's sister Ryūko Matoi said, taking some money from Satsuki's hand.

Ryūko walked up to Gerardo's stand.

"Popcorn and a soda.", Ryūko said. "Sis doesn't want anything."

"Sister, huh?", Gerardo asked, turning his head so he could get a good look at Satsuki.

Satsuki was like an angel.

Gerardo slicked his hair back, then walked away from his stand towards Satsuki.

"Hey there, beautiful.", Gerardo said. "How about you come down to my place tonight? I'll show you how much of an expert I am in fisting... iron fisting..."

"You're just gonna ignore me?!", Ryūko asked.

"Go away, dogtits.", Gerardo said.

Ryūko picked up her Scissor Blade and hit Gerardo over the head with the handle.

####

DateJuly 12, 2009
LocationKennedy Space Center
Time2:35 P.M.

Noah Kaiba looked out at the pad where, in approximately three days, 4Kids' satellite would launch into space and show 4Kids-related programming on every TV in the world.

"Everything is going perfectly.", Noah said. "Once that satellite is launched, everyone in the world will be at 4Kids' mercy!"

At that moment, Melvin approached.

"Master, I've just received word from Florence that the rocket should be here in three days.", Melvin said.

"Excellent.", Noah said. "Everything's going according to plan..."

BRANDON: ISSUE #1
DateJuly 12, 2009
LocationLytle, Texas
Time2:30 P.M.

The Brandon Soto Day Parade rolled its way down Main Street. Every building on the parade route was decorated in red, black, and white.

Gerardo had drank so much Johnny Walker Second Harvest Blue Label that he could not think straight, as did Leone.

"Leone, this is unprofessional.", Najenda said, burying her head in her right hand.

"I'll show YOU what's unprofessional!", a drunken Gerardo shouted.

Gerardo attempted to walk into the street, but drunkenly tripped and fell on his face.

"Ow.", he said.

Leone laughed loudly.

"You tripped!", she shouted, laughing and pointing.

Suddenly, one of the floats in the parade exploded violently. Many people in the parade or along the parade route were blown far away. Several buildings were heavily damaged, and the bleachers along the parade route were blown hundreds of feet away. There was a crater several feet deep in the ground where the float was.

Very few people close to the float survived the blast. The people that did not survive were blown large distances away, often with missing limbs.

The people who survived the blast were Gerardo, Adriel, Akame, Leone, and Najenda. Anyone that was far enough away from the float survived, including Brandon, who was at the end of the parade.

Brandon ran as fast as cartoonishly possible to the site of the explosion.

A cloud of smoke remained in the crater, but when the smoke cleared, there was a man with a flamethrower and armor standing in the crater. There was a 4Kids symbol on his left breast.

"4Kids?!", Brandon asked.

"There you are!", the man shouted. "We've waited 15 years for this moment!"

The man activated his flamethrowers. Brandon unsheathed his swords.

"You'll pay for that little stunt.", Brandon said.

"Oh, yeah?", the man asked. "Tell that to the billions of people who will be our slaves in three days!"

"...how?", Brandon asked.

"I'm not stupid enough to tell you our plan!", the man said. "Enjoy your last days of freedom!"

Brandon threw his sword at the man. It landed in his head, and the man fell backwards.

Brandon walked over to the man's body, grabbing his earpiece. He stuck it in his ear.

"Saunders.", Noah Kaiba said on the other end. "I told you not to contact me until Brandon Soto was dead."

"He's dead, boss.", Brandon said. "I killed him. He's deader than dead."

"Wait.", Noah Kaiba said. "You don't sound like Saunders. How can I be sure that you're not Brandon Soto pretending to be Saunders?"

"How can you hear me?", Brandon asked. "This is just text on a screen."

"Fair point.", Noah Kaiba said. "Come back to Kennedy Space Center; the rocket will launch in three days."

"Will do.", Brandon said.

Brandon took the earpiece out of his ear, threw it on the ground, and stomped on it.

"Now all I have to do is go to Kennedy Space Center sometime within the next three days and foil the second generic evil plan in this continuity.", Brandon said. "Seriously, when will someone have a plan that hasn't been done yet?"

"Brandon, wait.", Akame said.

"Waiting is the one thing I literally cannot do.", Brandon said.

"I'm going with you.", Akame said. "They need to pay for all the innocent lives lost here today."

"I'll go, too.", Gerardo said.

"Me, too.", Adriel said.

"If Akame's going, then I'm going!", Leone, still drunk, shouted.

"We're all behind you, Brandon.", Najenda said. "Let's make those bastards pay."

Brandon looked up to the sky.

"Alright, then.", Brandon said.

####

DateJuly 12, 2009
Location4Kids HQ, New York City
Time3:55 P.M. EDT

Gozaburo Kaiba sat down at the desk of Noah Kaiba, sitting across from his biological son.

"What business do you have with me, Noah?", Gozaburo asked.

"Father...", Noah said. "This morning, there was an... interesting... report on the news. Can you guess what it said?"

Before Gozaburo could answer, his son made a buzzing noise.

"Time's up.", Noah said. "It stated that you (Noah pointed at his father) were planning on selling KaibaCorp to a third party."

"Ever since Seto took over KaibaCorp, we haven't been making as much of a profit!", Gozaburo said. "I knew it was a bad idea when he decided to invest in that stupid trading card game instead of weapons manufacturing! Nearly three-quarters of our profits have been used to enter card battle tournaments; what did you expect me to do?!"

"How are you going to do that if I hold majority shares?", Noah asked. "Your idea is futile and there is no point for us to continue this conversation."

"You think I didn't think of that?", Gozaburo asked. "Let's just say I have a certain buyer that needn't worry about that. In fact, I'm scheduled to meet with them later today."

"Well...", Noah said, "...I'm afraid to tell you that your meeting's just been cancelled."

Noah pulled a photograph out of his suit jacket and handed it to Gozaburo.

It was the man who offered to buy KaibaCorp. At least, it was his head. The picture looked as if it was taken immediately after death, as there was still color in the man's face and a look of terror was still etched upon it.

"You...", Gozaburo asked. "You cut off his head?!"

Gozaburo angrily stood up.

"You've gone mad!", he shouted, pointing at his son. "I'm through with you and your outlandish methods! I'll have you arrested and the board will remove you by the end of the week!"

"The authorities are already on their way...", Noah said, "...and they aren't going to arrest me."

Noah pulled another photograph out from his suit jacket and handed it to Gozaburo.

It was the KaibaCorp buyer's headless body. There were two bullet holes in his chest, and the spent shell casings were nearby. The gun that was used was also visible. Gozaburo recognized it as a Stoeger Cougar 9mm pistol, colored silver. He owned the exact same type of gun.

"You little bastard!", Gozaburo shouted. "You're going to frame me for murder!"

Noah reached into his desk and pulled out his own Stoeger Cougar 9mm pistol, which was also colored silver, and laid it on the desk. It was the same gun that was used to kill Jaden Yuki.

"You know what to do with that.", Noah said.

Gozaburo slowly picked up the gun. His arm was shaking.

"How many...", Gozaburo struggled to ask, "...how many people know about this?"

"Just...", Noah said as he touched a button on what appeared to be some sort of remote, "...you and me."

Gozaburo angrily looked down at the gun.

"You would kill your own men?", Gozaburo asked.

"They served their one purpose: murdering your buyer.", Noah said. "Even got your fingerprints on the gun. And they're going to die in a mortar blast right about... (Noah looked at his watch) now."

Gozaburo raised the pistol to his temple. He closed his eyes and slowly began tightening his grip on the trigger.

Just when Gozaburo looked as if he was going to commit suicide, he turned his gun on Noah.

"The day I go to jail for a murder I didn't commit is the day I die!", Gozaburo shouted.

Gozaburo pulled the trigger. Instead of his son's brains staining the wall behind him, the bullet simply phased through his son's head and stopped in the wall.

"A hologram?!", Gozaburo asked.

"Your son's technology is infallible.", Noah said. "It's truly a shame you lost faith in it."

Noah raised the remote. The button he pressed to kill his men was now gray, since said men were now dead. However, near the bottom was a giant red button.

"How fitting that you mention that today is the day you die.", Noah said. "See, 4Kids has moved beyond this base. We're reaching for the stars; that is something we cannot do if we're stuck on this rock."

"You'll never get away with this!", Gozaburo shouted. "I'LL SEE TO IT MYSELF!!!"

"You'll 'C2' it?", Noah asked. "Hahahahaha, that's a laugh! Because where you C2, I C4."

A confused Gozaburo looked around the room. He was shocked to discover that it was covered in C4.

"Why, you little--!", Gozaburo shouted.

"I must confide in you, Father...", Noah said, "...I always enjoyed our little talks. It's a shame it had to end this way."

Noah pressed the big red button on the remote.

"Goodbye, Father.", Noah said.

The former headquarters of the 4Kids Corporation was destroyed in a bright flash and a large explosion. Most buildings near it were heavily damaged within the first few seconds of Gozaburo Kaiba's death. Many people on the sidewalks were either killed instantly, killed by debris, injured by debris, or were knocked on their ass. In short, no person or building within a five-block radius escaped without injury or damage.

####

DateJuly 12, 2009
LocationKennedy Space Center
Time4:02 P.M. EDT

The hologram disappeared. Noah Kaiba was back at the Kennedy Space Center, where Melvin was watching over him.

"I take it that your father is dead?", Melvin asked.

"Deader than Grossfeld.", Noah said.

"Excellent.", Melvin said. "The last thing we need right now is a sudden outpouring of money."

"Oh, but you see...", Noah said, "...that was our next move."

Suddenly, a man named Steve ran into the room.

"Bad news, sir!", he shouted. "We've had massive sell-offs of our company's stock! The value of the company's dropping!"

Melvin fired a laser from the Millennium Rod, hitting Steve in the chest and killing him.

"You were saying?", Melvin asked.

"Son of a--!", Noah shouted.

####

DateJuly 12, 2009
LocationTexarkana, Texas/Arkansas
Time4:03 P.M.

"--gum-chewing funk monster!", Brandon shouted. "Now, Sean, you come up with a cool-sounding band name."

Sean thought for a moment.

"Monkey Slayers.", Sean said.

"Eh.", Brandon said. "Seems a little foreshadow-ey."

"I was gonna go with Monkey Wrench, but we might get sued.", Sean said.

"Unless we're doing a tribute to the Foo Fighters.", Brandon said. "Okay, Akame, your turn."

"Can you turn the radio on?", Akame asked.

"You said that one last time!", Brandon said.

"Well, what do YOU want to listen to?!", Akame asked.

"Salt-N-Pepa!", Brandon said.

"Fleetwood Mac?", Sean asked.

"Foreigner!", Adriel said. "Salt-N-Pepa sucks."

"You take that back!", Brandon shouted, pointing to Adriel.

That started an argument between everyone inside Brandon's truck.

Everyone except Gerardo, that is.

Gerardo was sitting silently, listening to Yes on his iPhone and staring out the window.

Suddenly, Brandon's truck ran straight into an ATM. With the ATM destroyed all to hell, Brandon's car flipped over into the bank, where a heist was in progress.

Was.

The man robbing the bank was hit by the truck and was sent flying into the opposite wall. He dropped his gun and fell unconscious.

The hostages looked inside the truck. Everyone inside, save for Gerardo, had been thrown out of their seat.

Gerardo walked out of the truck. He looked around, confused.

"What the hell happened?!", Gerardo asked.

"Do... you not know?", a woman asked.

"Nope.", Gerardo said. "Nothing like listening to some progressive rock while on a road trip. Pretty trippy. Euphoric, even."

Gerardo turned towards the bank teller.

"Is it possible to check my bank account from here?", he asked.

"What about your friends?!", the teller asked.

"Psh, only four of them are my friends.", Gerardo said.

"Should we call an ambulance?", another teller asked.

"Go right ahead.", Gerardo said. "I didn't crash the truck here in the first place. Also, call the cops. This guy here's got enough justice on the left side for one day."

####

DateJuly 13, 2009
LocationKennedy Space Center
Time8:30 A.M.

Noah Kaiba was asleep in his bed, just two days away from launching 4Kids' satellite into space.

Suddenly, one of the Steves woke him up.

"Master, Melvin wishes to see you.", Steve said.

"Already?", Noah asked, removing his sleeping eye mask. "Doesn't he know how early it is?"

"He says there is something in the newspaper he thinks you would like to see.", Steve said.

"Alright, fine.", Noah said, tossing his sleeping eye mask into the corner of the room. "Where is he?"

As Noah walked out into the Space Center, getting a good view of the launch pad, Melvin walked over carrying a newspaper.

"What was so important that you had to wake me up this early?", Noah asked.

"This.", Melvin said, unfolding the newspaper and handing it to Noah.

On the front page, there was a black-and-white picture of Gerardo, posing in front of Brandon's destroyed truck. The headline read HERO STOPS ROBBERY.

"What's so special about this?", Noah asked, looking up from the newspaper.

"Look in the lower-left corner.", Melvin said. "Seems like a certain red-suited menace survived Saunders' attack."

Noah looked in the lower-left corner of the picture. Sure enough, Brandon Soto was in the picture, trying desperately to be in the picture.

"Where was this photo taken?", Noah asked.

"Texarkana.", Melvin said. "It's a city on the border between Texas and Arkansas."

Noah looked worried.

"Assuming they were given adequate transportation as compensation for stopping the robbery...", Noah said, "...and ALSO assuming that they know of our plan, that means that they're on their way here, planning to stop us. This isn't good for any of us."

Noah handed the newspaper back to Melvin.

"Contact Florence.", Noah said. "Tell him to floor it. Get the rocket here as quickly as he can."

"But...", Melvin said, "...if he makes a sudden stop, or hits a car, the rocket could crush him!"

"I don't care!", Noah said. "We have to get that satellite into space before that red-suited freak has a chance to stop us!"

As Noah stormed back into his makeshift bedroom, Melvin was flabbergasted.

"Why did I ever agree to work with these guys again?", Melvin asked.

####

DateJuly 13, 2009
LocationWadley Regional Medical Center
Time6:30 A.M. CDT

Akame, Leone, Adriel, Sean, and Najenda were all hospitalized. Brandon was asleep at the foot of Najenda's bed.

Gerardo walked in, carrying a box of donuts.

"Who wants donuts?", Gerardo asked.

Everyone except Leone groaned.

"I'm starving!", Leone said.

"Well, if you guys want any later, they'll be right here.", Gerardo said.

Gerardo placed the donuts on the table next to Akame.

Brandon angrily walked over to Gerardo.

"Where have you been?!", Brandon asked.

"I was at a hotel.", Gerardo said. "It was thanks for stopping the robbery."

"Well, you should've been here!", Brandon said. "Now we only have TWO DAYS to stop 4Kids from brainwashing everyone on the planet, and we haven't even left Texas yet!"

"What the hell was I gonna do?!", Gerardo asked. "They need rest! And besides, aren't you the one who put them here in the first place?!"

"I don't need rest!", Leone said. "With Lionelle's Trump Card, I can regenerate pretty easily."

"You stay out of this!", Brandon and Gerardo both shouted, pointing at Leone.

Leone squirmed back into the hospital bed.

"Look.", Brandon said. "We both made mistakes, so we're both gonna have to do better. And I think we can fix it by helping to save the world. What do you say?"

"I say gimme one of those donuts!", Leone said.

Leone reached over, but she saw that the box of donuts was empty.

"Wha--?!", she asked.

She noticed a bunch of crumbs on Akame's bed.

"Akame!", Leone shouted, beating Akame over the head. "You ate all the donuts!"

Gerardo, seeing this, sighed deeply.

"Fine.", he said. "I'll go with you. So what's the game plan?"

"Well, first...", Brandon said, "...we need to get some breakfast."

"Why do you think I brought the donuts?", Gerardo asked.

As they talked, Leone and Akame continued to fight. Akame bit one of Leone's fingers.

"Biting?!", Leone asked. "That's not fair!"

####

DateJuly 15, 2009
LocationKennedy Space Center
Time5:45 A.M.

One of the Steves ran into Noah Kaiba's room, waking up the child.

"Master!", Steve shouted. "It's important!"

Noah removed his sleeping-eye mask. He looked at the time.

"What was important enough to wake me up at 5:45 A.M.?", Noah asked.

"Florence has arrived with the rocket!", Steve shouted.

Noah gasped, letting his sleeping-eye mask fall to the floor.

####

DateJuly 15, 2009
LocationKennedy Space Center
Time5:53 A.M.

Noah ran to the rocket like a kid on Christmas.

"It's finally here!", Noah shouted. "We're just hours away from achieving our goal!"

"Master...", Florence said, "...I just drove for three straight days. I need rest."

"'Rest'? Now?", Noah asked. "When we need all the help we can get? Fat chance! EVERYONE, GET THE ROCKET ON THE LAUNCH PAD! I WANT US IN THE AIR WITHIN THREE HOURS!"

As Noah, the Steves, and Melvin walked over to the launch pad, Florence stood flabbergasted.

"Why did I ever agree to work with these guys again?", Florence asked.

####

DateJuly 15, 2009
LocationKennedy Space Center
Time8:51 A.M.

As the rocket was just minutes away from launching, two Steves were in the lobby.

"So what's the first thing you're gonna watch after 4Kids takes over the airwaves?", one Steve asked.

"Definitely Sonic X.", the other Steve said. "Then maybe some Pokémon."

Suddenly, Brandon's truck crashed through the wall, crushing both of the Steves underneath.

Brandon, Gerardo, Adriel, Sean, Akame, Leone, and Najenda all walked out of the truck.

"Alright, I think the reader has noticed that significantly less people have died in this point in the story than last time.", Brandon said. "Let's change that. Cue the Musical Killing Montage!"

And good times were had by all.

####

DateJuly 15, 2009
LocationKennedy Space Center
Time8:59 A.M.

The rocket was one minute away from launching. The satellite was attached to the rocket. Noah, Melvin, Florence, and about 100 Steves were onboard.

"At last, we're only hours away from achieving our goal!", Noah said excitedly.

"Can't wait, Master.", Melvin said.

Suddenly, a signal came over the intercom.

"Master, we've got a problem!", a Steve shouted over the intercom.

"Ugh.", Noah said. "What is it?"

"It's that costumed vigilante!", Steve shouted. "He's here, and he's brought allies!"

Suddenly, they heard the noise of Steve's throat being slit, and then Steve falling on the ground. They heard a voice shout, "No!", and then a couple gunshots.

"Brandon Soto!", Noah shouted. "Steves, make sure he doesn't get on this rocket! Initiate the launch sequence!"

Back on the ground, Gerardo had just punched a Steve into the side of the rocket, killing him. Then, he heard a Steve clear his throat.

Steve was standing next to a bunch of buttons. He pushed the biggest button, a red one. The button lit up and smoke started to come out of the rocket.

"Good luck getting onto the rocket now!", Steve shouted.

Steve began to laugh, but he was struck down by Akame.

"Quickly!", Akame said. "We don't have much time!"

"I'm on it!", Leone shouted.

Leone ran towards the rocket and punched a hole in it. She quickly widened the hole, making it big enough for a person to fit through, by ripping off some of the plating on the rocket.

Several Steves pointed guns at her, but Adriel knocked them into the air for Sean to kill them with simple ki blasts.

"Kill him, you idiots!", Noah shouted. "I don't care how, just kill him!"

Leone ran into the hole in the rocket, followed by Adriel, then Sean, then Akame, then Gerardo, then Najenda.

"Brandon!", Akame shouted. "Hurry!"

Brandon slit the throats of two more Steves, then ran towards the rocket as fast as comically possible.

The rocket started to take off. Brandon disappeared into the cloud of smoke that resulted from takeoff.

"BRANDON!", Akame shouted.

The rocket began to accelerate into the air.

"Come on.", Najenda said. "We need to take some suits from the Steves before the oxygen gets thin."

Najenda, Leone, and Adriel walked into the deeper levels of the rocket. The Steves unsuccessfully fired upon the rocket. Sean and Akame held their own private eulogy for Brandon before following them.

Gerardo, staring at the bullets, slowly unmasked himself and let his mask fall out the hole.

"So long, my old friend.", Gerardo said.

Gerardo slowly turned around and walked into the deeper levels of the rocket.

####

DateJuly 15, 2009
LocationEarth's atmosphere
Time9:05 A.M.

Six of the Steves were dead and stripped of their space suits. Adriel, Gerardo, Sean, Akame, Leone, and Najenda all put them on.

"Alright.", Najenda said. "That's six of the Steves. We know that 4Kids couldn't possibly leave this huge rocket unguarded, and Noah wouldn't trust just the Steves to guard it, so we can expect Melvin and Florence on board as well."

"What about Noah?", Sean asked.

"I doubt if Noah would be stupid enough to put himself on board in the event of attack.", Najenda said. "He's the head of 4Kids. Without its head, the monster would die."

"You're wrong.", a British voice said.

The six turned to see Florence standing in the hallway.

"Including those six weaklings, we have exactly 100 Steves onboard.", Florence said. "That is barely a fraction of how many Steves we have in total. And yes, you were correct, Melvin and I are both onboard, as is our Master. You needn't worry about 4Kids going away anytime soon, however."

Florence reached inside his shirt and pulled out a giant ring on a necklace. The ring had a pyramid in the center with an eye in the middle, and five prongs hanging from the bottom.

"A Millennium Item!", Najenda shouted. "How did you get that?!"

"It matters not.", Florence said.

The five prongs pointed towards the group.

"And now...", Florence said, "...I'm going to kill you banish you to the Shadow Realm!"

"Not on my watch!", a voice shouted behind them.

They heard a gunshot. Everyone looked to see Brandon, who was alive and well but whose costume was singed.

Brandon was pointing a pistol at Florence, and a bullet was floating in front of the barrel.

"Shit!", Brandon said. "I forgot we're in space!"

"You red-suited oaf!", Florence shouted. "How the bloody hell are you still alive?!"

"I'm not bloody!", Brandon said. "Even if I was, you couldn't tell!"

Florence placed his head into his hands.

Brandon took the opportunity to grab his sword. He began to jump around the room, slowly getting towards Florence.

"You cur!", Florence shouted, grabbing his Millennium Item, the Millennium Ring, and tossing it like a Frisbee in Brandon's direction.

Brandon simply grabbed the Millennium Ring and tossed it aside.

"You bast--!", Florence managed to shout before Brandon stabbed him through the head.

As soon as Brandon drew his sword, Florence's body began to float to the ceiling.

"Brandon!", Akame shouted, hugging Brandon. "You're alive!"

"Well, duh.", Brandon said. "It's not like I died or anything."

"You're so reckless!", Akame shouted.

Gerardo grabbed the Millennium Ring out of the air.

"What the hell does this thing do?", Gerardo asked.

Suddenly, the Millennium Ring began to glow. The five prongs pointed to the wall. The Ring began to slide Gerardo across the floor until he let go, where it crashed through the wall.

"What the hell?!", the group heard Melvin ask. "Why is the Millennium Ring in here?!"

Leone grabbed the wall and ripped it off. Melvin, holding the Millennium Rod, was shocked, seeing as he was standing in front of a large group of Steves prepped to hook up the satellite.

"You made it onto the rocket?!", Melvin asked. "Steves, prepare the satellite! I'll deal with them!"

"Yes, sir!", the Steves shouted.

As the Steves exited and grabbed onto a rope leading to the satellite, Melvin fired several lasers from the Millennium Rod at Brandon's group.

"Watch out for those lasers!", Najenda shouted.

Najenda had barely completed this sentence when a laser struck her through her right eye. Najenda screamed loudly in pain, holding her now-bleeding eye.

"OH, CHRIST!", Brandon shouted.

Adriel held out his palm towards Melvin, as if blocking a punch. The entire wall on the side of the rocket gave way, and Melvin was sucked into the vacuum of space.

Before any of his newfound friends could join Melvin in the coldness and emptiness of space, Adriel used his gravity manipulation to force them sideways.

As numerous objects, as well as the bodies of Florence and the six dead Steves, were sucked into space, Brandon and his friends floated along the hallway leading to the head of the rocket.

Suddenly, a television appeared from the roof. Noah Kaiba was onscreen.

Noah laughed maniacally.

"You may have defeated my top two officers, but you will never stop the might of 4Kids!", Noah shouted. "There's still 64 Steves that are willing to give their life for me, and in 15 minutes the satellite will be hooked up and broadcast 4Kids' signal onto every television across the globe! Just TRY to stop us now!"

Noah laughed again before the television went to black and folded back into the ceiling.

Brandon placed his hand on his chin.

"15 minutes, huh?", Brandon asked. "Pretty sure he said a few hours earlier in the story, but whatever."

Brandon pulled out his swords, performed a Muslim battle cry, and floated with all his might towards Noah's room.

"Stop right there, you red-suited scoundrel!", a Steve shouted.

Akame threw One-Cut Killer: Murasame through Steve's head.

"Have you noticed that they all insult me the same way?", Brandon asked. "They use the term 'red-suited' and then a noun. I swear, they have NO originality whatsoever."

Akame withdrew Murasame from Steve's head, allowing his body to float to the ceiling.

"If what Noah said is true...", she said, "...we only have fifteen minutes to kill all 30 Steves that are hooking up the satellite. Someone needs to go out into space."

"I'll do it!", Gerardo eagerly shouted, raising his hand into the air so high that it went through the ceiling. "I've always wanted to go to space, and now that I AM in space I'm not gonna float around in some rocketship!"

"You will need a fully functional helmet.", Akame said. "Unfortunately, all of the helmets from the dead Steves are either damaged or floating in space, so we will need to find another Steve."

"Or will we?", Brandon asked.

Brandon was juggling the head of a dead Steve. Steve was still wearing his helmet, which, as luck would have it, was still fully functional.

"Where did you get that?", Akame asked, pointing.

"Another Steve tried sneaking up on me.", Brandon said, revealing Steve's decapitated body floating to the ceiling.

"Gimme that helmet!", Gerardo said, grabbing the helmet out of Brandon's hands.

Gerardo let Steve's head float out of the helmet before putting it on.

As Gerardo floated down the hall into the doorway, he began to chant:

"One man, alone, betrayed by the country he loves..."

This was all Brandon's group heard before Gerardo disappeared through the hole Melvin created into the inky blackness of space.

Suddenly, Brandon's group found themselves ambushed by the 62 remaining Steves.

"Hands up and we'll shoot!", a Steve shouted.

"Don't you mean, 'hands up OR we'll shoot'?", Brandon asked.

"I know what I said!", Steve shouted.

"Question.", Brandon said. "Before you kill us, are you wearing your brown pants?"

"No.", Steve said. "Why?"

"Too bad.", Brandon said.

Brandon shot Steve through the chest, killing him instantly. Steve dropped his weapon and his body floated up to the ceiling.

"Die!", another Steve shouted.

The 61 remaining Steves opened fire on the group.

####

DateJuly 15, 2009
LocationEarth's atmosphere, outside of the rocket
Time9:08 A.M.

Gerardo floated out in space, humming The Blue Danube Waltz. Several of the Steves noticed him.

"He's with the red-suited monster!", a Steve shouted, pointing.

"Damn, Brandon was right.", Gerardo said. "NO originality."

"Kill him!", another Steve shouted.

20 of the 30 Steves grabbed their weapons, pointed them at Gerardo, and fired them.

Purple lasers came out of the guns. Many of them missed Gerardo and hit the rocket, but Gerardo had to dodge some of them.

"Why do bad guys always get the good shit?!", Gerardo asked.

A Steve pulled out a knife as he and another Steve floated towards Gerardo. Gerardo karate-chopped one of the Steves in the neck, breaking his neck, and grabbed the other Steve's knife and used it to tear a small hole in his suit. Steve screamed and floated away.

The remaining 18 Steves continued to fire on Gerardo. Gerardo kicked and punched his way through the crowd until only one of the 18 was left.

"Well?", Gerardo asked.

Steve pointed his laser gun towards his heart and fired, killing him instantly.

Gerardo took the freely-floating laser gun and fired it at the remaining Steves. The first Steve was hit in the back, killing him. The second hit another Steve right as he fired a shot at Gerardo. The laser hit Gerardo's gun, disabling it.

Gerardo pressed the trigger a couple of times, but with no luck.

"Damn it!", Gerardo shouted.

Gerardo tossed the worthless gun away and floated towards the 8 remaining Steves.

"Hurry up and hook the satellite!", a Steve shouted. "He's gaining on us!"

Gerardo frogged him in the back of the head, shattering Steve's helmet and skull.

"You killed him, you bastard!", another Steve shouted before both of his eyes were simultaneously poked out by Gerardo.

"Hook up that goddamn satellite!", a Steve shouted.

"What the hell do you think I've been doing?!", another Steve asked.

Gerardo kicked the former Steve in the back before eyeing the satellite.

"Time to trash this thing!", Gerardo said.

Gerardo punched the satellite, shattering it into pieces and knocking three Steves into freefall in space.

"No!", one of the two remaining Steves shouted. "The satellite!"

"Our plan is ruined!", the other Steve shouted.

"I don't want Master to find out!", the first Steve shouted.

Both Steves looked at each other and nodded.

Both Steves tore off their helmets, pointed their guns at their heads, and shot themselves.

"They'd rather die before get yelled at by their boss?", Gerardo asked. "How tight a grip on these guys' balls does Noah HAVE?!"

####

DateJuly 5, 2009
LocationEarth's atmosphere, inside the rocket
Time9:12 A.M.

Akame, wielding Murasame, floated over to the last two remaining Steves and sliced them across the torso. However, these wounds proved to be non-fatal.

"You think THAT will kill us, little girl?", a Steve asked.

Both Steves laughed. However, they both got a good look at each others' faces. There were black marks crawling up them.

"What the--?", they both asked.

Their arms drooped over, dead, as their bodies floated up to the ceiling.

"Poison.", Akame said. "Murasame is covered in a deadly poison which kills anyone I strike in seconds. It was taken from an Eight-Tailed Scorpion, and it has no antidote."

Brandon whistled in awe.

"We don't have long.", Adriel said.

As Adriel said this, he and Sean were focusing on patching up Najenda's injured eye.

"She's lost a lot of blood.", Sean said. "If we don't get her to the hospital soon, she'll die."

"And we're still stuck in God-knows-where space!", Brandon said. "Just great! Fantastic!"

Gerardo floated inside.

"Did you guys know they have laser guns?", Gerardo asked. "I didn't!"

"Laser guns?", Brandon asked. "We don't have that technology in later stories, so why just this one?"

"The very best to eliminate the very worst.", they heard a voice say.

The door behind them opened. Noah Kaiba was sitting in a chair, one leg crossed over the other.

"We've moved beyond Earth's atmosphere, and we're almost out of fuel.", Noah said. "You can kill me all you want, but good luck turning this thing around."

"I trashed your satellite.", Gerardo said. "Good luck taking over Earth's airwaves."

"You couldn't have!", Noah shouted. "You're just one person!"

"And you're just a kid.", Brandon said. "You haven't even hit puberty yet."

"MY PLAN IS IN SHAMBLES!!!", Noah shouted.

Brandon threw his sword through Noah's head, killing him instantly.

"How are we going to get back to Earth?", Akame asked.

Brandon withdrew his sword from Noah's body, allowing it to float up to the ceiling.

"There's an escape pod.", Brandon said. "There won't be much space, but we can all fit in there."

"So we'll just leave the rocket and all these bodies up here?", Gerardo asked.

"Exactly.", Brandon said.

####

DateJuly 15, 2009
LocationEscape pod
Time9:30 A.M.

Brandon, Gerardo, Adriel, Sean, Akame, Leone, and Najenda all piled into the escape pod.

Brandon eyed the control pad looking for the button to launch the pod back to Earth. However, the buttons were unmarked, and Brandon didn't know which one to hit.

"Boop.", Brandon said, pressing the largest button.

The door quickly closed itself shut. The pod separated from the rocket. The pod spun wildly, jerking the group around the inside.

"How do we land this thing?!", Akame asked.

Gerardo, meanwhile, was praying.

"Are you there, God?", Gerardo asked. "It's me, Gerardo."

####

DateJuly 15, 2009
LocationA farm in Iowa
Time9:55 A.M.

The escape pod crash-landed in a field. The crash was witnessed by a farmer.

"Oh, God, no, my marijuana patch!", the farmer shouted. "I mean, that's... my... carrot patch. Yeah."

The farmer drove up to the crash site in his truck.

I'm gonna do what any sensible Middle American would do in this situation..., the farmer thought to himself, ...get my gun!

The farmer exited the truck, grabbing and cocking his Winchester Model 1866 and pointing it at the smoldering pod.

Suddenly, the pod opened. Brandon was the first to exit. Upon looking at Brandon, the farmer screamed.

"Alien!", he shouted.

The farmer fired his gun at Brandon, hitting him in the head and knocking him over.

"Ow!", Brandon shouted. "Son of a bitch!"

"He speaks English?!", the farmer asked.

"Yes, I speak English, you marijuana-growing Bible thumper!", Brandon shouted. "I'm from Texas, not Atlanta!"

Akame was next to exit the pod, followed by Sean, then Leone, then Gerardo, then Najenda, and finally Adriel.

The farmer screamed.

"Illegal alien!", he shouted.

The farmer fired his gun at Adriel. However, the bullet stopped in mid-air, floated where it was for a couple of seconds, and fell to the ground.

"Don't go there.", Adriel said.

At that moment, three black vans pulled up. All of them had the insignia of the World Government on the side.

"Oh, shit, black vans.", Brandon said. "That means you know they mean business."

At least ten people exited the vans.

"Indeed we do, Brandon Soto.", one of them said.

"Called it!", Brandon shouted.

"We're representatives of Cipher Pol.", the man said, showing Brandon his badge. "We want you to come with us."

"What about them?", Brandon asked, pointing to the others. "They helped!"

"Sorry.", the man said. "The higher-ups only want to talk to you, Brandon. Don't make this hard on all of us."

Brandon turned towards the others.

"Don't worry about us, Brandon.", Akame said.

Brandon sighed.

"Fine.", he said. "I'll go with you idiots."

The man smiled.

"Excellent choice, Brandon.", he said.

####

DateJuly 15, 2009
LocationWorld Government headquarters
Time11:25 A.M.

The three black vans drove through an underground tunnel. The tunnel served as the only way in and out of the World Government's headquarters.

"Since when is there a World Government and how have I never heard of it?", Brandon asked.

"The World Government has existed for over 800 years.", the man said. "Back when it was founded, it was led by the Catholic Church, but that hasn't been the case since 1300, when Pope Boniface VIII gave it autonomy due to the burden it caused on his papal duties. As for how you've never heard of it, it's probably because you live in the middle of nowhere Texas."

"Being Texan, I should probably be offended by that, but being a fictional character, I'm not.", Brandon said.

####

DateJuly 15, 2009
LocationThe Admirals' office
Time11:34 A.M.

The black vans pulled up in the Admirals' office, located adjacent to the train station located in the exact center of World Government headquarters.

"Alright, Brandon, we're here.", the man said.

Brandon, who was asleep, was rudely awoken by this statement.

"Yes, dear?", he asked.

"They want to talk to you.", the man said.

"Right, right...", Brandon said, slowly getting up.

Brandon walked out of the van to see a desk. Sitting at the desk was three people: Aokiji, Gendo Ikari, and Kizaru.

"Take a seat.", Kizaru said.

Brandon sat down at the desk.

"Brandon...", Gendo Ikari said, "...do you know why you're here?"

"No, but you should tell me in some sort of expositional onslaught so the audience does.", Brandon said.

"What the hell are you on about?", Aokiji asked.

"Nevermind that.", Ikari said. "We can't have him just running around doing whatever after this latest incident."

"What incident?", Aokiji asked.

"Have you not been paying attention?", Brandon asked. "We spent the whole story explaining this shit. Or were you asleep the whole time like Bruce Banner in Iron Man 3?"

"What the hell is WITH this guy?", Kizaru asked.

"SILENCE!", Ikari shouted. "Anyway, Brandon, you will be detained here. We're forming a special agency to make sure nothing like the 4Kids incidents happens again."

"And you want me to be in charge?", Brandon asked.

Ikari laughed.

"Hell no!", he said. "You're too reckless. We need a leader who's responsible, who's professional, who's... the exact opposite of you."

"Who could you POSSIBLY have in mind?", Brandon asked.

"How about a guy who built his first working Iron Man suit when he was in high school?", Ikari asked. "Come out, Braden!"

A man wearing a red and gold Iron Man suit walked out from the shadows.

"I'm not convinced.", Brandon said.

Braden opened his palm. An energy beam hit Brandon in the stomach and knocked him on his back.

"Okay, I'm convinced.", Brandon said, clearly in pain. "Ow."

"Wow.", a female voice said. "The repulsor on Dreamweaver is working better than I thought."

Braden's face mask opened, revealing a man with short brown hair, blue/green eyes, and a butt-chin.

"I just don't know about the name Dreamweaver, Marron.", Braden said.

"Why?", Marron asked. "Is my name not good enough?"

"Oh, no, i-it's a cool name...", Braden said. "I just don't think it fits this suit."

"It's easier to remember than Mk. III.", Marron said.

Admiral Ikari cleared his throat.

"Braden Woods...", he said, "...do you accept the responsibility that comes with being an admin?"

"Admin?", Brandon asked. "Why not 'Grand Dragon' or 'Imperial Wizard'? Why did you have to settle for the leader of a Facebook group?"

Braden hit Brandon in the stomach with another repulsor, sending him flying into one of the black vans, denting it.

"Okay, I'll shut up now.", Brandon said, still in pain.

"Yes, I accept.", Braden said.

Braden and Marron shared a kiss.

"Can't you do that in your own solo story?!", Brandon asked.

Braden shot Brandon with another repulsor.

THE END

Don't click away, there's more below!

Tales of the AAA series
Full Media Chronology
(Timeline/Characters)

[v · e]

Story Release Date
4Kids: The Rise to Power June 10, 2016
Brandon: Issue #1 October 28, 2016
Braden: Haywire 2017
Braden: The First Admin November 27, 2015
Adriel May 29, 2015
Bailey July 17, 2015
Grimmjow August 14, 2015
Mr. 5 and Ms. Valentine April 8, 2016
Brandon September 18, 2015
Sean October 23, 2015
Halloween Special November 1, 2015
The Admins December 25, 2015
Christmas Special December 25, 2015
Civil War February 12, 2016
TQftHG: 12345 February 23, 2016—
May 24, 2016
Hounds of Justice May 19, 2016
TQftHG: 67891011121314151617181920 May 27, 2016—
present
Bailey: Revenge of REVOCS TBA
Hellsing: Incognito* TBA
Clean Slate* TBA
TQftDB: 1 TBA
Admins: End of Days TBA
Sean: Solace TBA
Rob Lucci TBA
Brandon: Excalibur* TBA
Team RWBY: "Red" Trailer TBA
Team RWBY: "White" Trailer TBA
Team RWBY: "Black" Trailer TBA
Team RWBY: "Yellow" Trailer TBA
Team RWBY TBA
Team JNPR TBA
PI: 1 TBA
Admins: The Vengeful Man of Lightning* TBA
Space Patrol Luluco TBA
Team CFVY TBA
The Three Kings TBA
Gerardo's Very Own Story TBA
Vento Aureo* TBA
Kyōma the Coil Hunter TBA
Sailor Scouts TBA
Grimm Eclipse TBA
Black Cat TBA
You're Not So Bad TBA
Freezer with an I TBA
The Unknown Country TBA
Munson's Delivery TBA
The Kill Order TBA
Manuel: The Quest for Gerardo TBA
Champions of Shōnen TBA
CP9's Independent Report TBA
Steel Ball Run* TBA
Ghost in the Shell TBA
Gerardo and Manuel TBA
Stone Ocean* TBA

Brandon exited the bathroom wearing a robe over his Deadpool outfit.

"What are you still doing here?", Brandon asked. "The story's over. Go home."

Brandon then realized why you're still reading this.

"Oh.", Brandon said. "You want some setup for Braden: Haywire. I gotcha."

Brandon pulled out a slip of paper.

"Here's a little ditty from the forum posts.", Brandon said. "Braden attempts to create an AI to eliminate any threats to the AAA. However, when the AI eliminates someone that it wasn't meant to eliminate, Braden will have to seek help from an unexpected source to take down the AI."

Brandon placed the slip of paper back into his suit.

"Make of that as you will.", Brandon said. "Now get the hell out of my house."

Braden will return in Braden: Haywire.

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